[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 141 (Monday, July 23, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43141-43143]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17850]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Air Carrier Hazardous Materials Passenger Notification 
Requirements: Acceptable Means of Compliance

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting and related information.

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SUMMARY: This notice is to advise interested persons that the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA), in coordination with the Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), will conduct a 
public meeting to discuss Air Carrier Hazardous Materials Passenger 
Notification Requirements and Acceptable Means of Compliance with 49 
CFR 175.25. The public meeting, to be held on August 16th, 2012 in 
Washington, DC, is intended to provide interested persons with an 
opportunity to submit comments and participate in discussions 
concerning the acceptability of various means of compliance with 
federal hazardous materials regulations.

DATES: August 16th, 2012; from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Meeting Location

    Airlines for America, 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 11th Floor, 
Washington, DC 20004.
    Any person wishing to attend the public meeting (in person or via 
telephone) should send an email to 9-AWA-ASH-ADG-HAZMAT@faa.gov with 
the subject line ``Attendee Information for Passenger Notification 
Meeting'' no later than the close of business on August 9th, 2012. 
Please include the names and contact information (Organization/Email/
Address/Telephone Number) for any individuals planning to attend, and 
indicate whether attendance will be in person or via telephone. 
Providing this information will allow us to send you meeting documents 
prior to the meeting, assist us in recordkeeping for the meeting, 
facilitate the security screening process for entry into the building 
on the day of the meeting, and ensure adequate seating space and 
telephone conference lines for all attendees.
    We are committed to providing equal access to this meeting for all 
participants. If you need alternative formats or other reasonable 
accommodations, please call (202) 385-4916 or email: 9-AWA-ASH-ADG-
HazMat@faa.gov with your request by the close of business on August 9, 
2012.
    Attendees will be required to check in with the security desk in 
the building lobby, 1st floor. When they get to the 11th floor, a 
receptionist will guide them to the meeting room.
    Conference Call Information: Telephone conference capability will 
be provided to allow participation from interested individuals who are 
unable to attend the meeting in person. To join the telephone 
conference, call (605) 475-3200 and enter passcode 981243.
    Prior to the meeting, copies of documents for the Air Carrier 
Hazardous Materials Passenger Notification Requirements Public Meeting 
and the meeting agenda will be distributed by email to all individuals 
who register as participants at the meeting.
    Comment Submission: Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments 
prior to the August 16th, 2012 public meeting by emailing to 9-AWA-ASH-ADG-HAZMAT@faa.gov. Please mark submissions with the subject line 
``Comments for Passenger Notification Public Meeting.'' After the 
meeting, all comments received will be posted without change to the 
following Web site, including any personal information: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ash/ash_programs/hazmat/aircarrier_info/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kenneth Miller, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Office of Hazard Materials Safety (ADG-1), 800 
Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20591. Email: 
kenneth.miller@faa.gov. Phone: 202-385-4916

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    49 CFR 175.25 defines requirements for notification at air 
passenger facilities of hazardous materials restrictions. One primary 
purpose for this rule is to enhance public safety awareness regarding 
the carriage of hazardous materials onboard aircraft, either as carry-
on items or in checked baggage. Improved public safety awareness in 
this area increases passenger compliance with applicable 49 CFR 
requirements, thus enhancing overall aviation safety by reducing the 
likelihood of inappropriate items being transported onboard aircraft.
    The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) 
amended 49 CFR 175.25 on January 19, 2011 (76 FR 3382). The amendments 
included requirements for passenger notification during ticket purchase 
and check-in. The amended rule has an effective date of January 1, 
2013. While PHMSA has the primary responsibility for issuing 49 CFR 
regulations, the FAA has primary responsibility for overseeing 
compliance with these regulations as they pertain to air 
transportation. PHMSA and the FAA have received numerous inquiries 
regarding specific interpretations of the amended requirements and the 
acceptability of certain means of compliance with the revised rules.

II. Purpose of Public Meeting

    The FAA seeks to collaborate with the air passenger transportation 
community in defining and implementing a

[[Page 43142]]

standard means of compliance with the 49 CFR 175.25 requirements. FAA 
envisions this collaboration occurring through the following process:
    Step 1--Initial Public Meeting (the subject of this announcement, 
discussed in detail below).
    Step 2--FAA posting for public comment a draft advisory circular 
describing one acceptable means of compliance with 49 CFR 175.25. This 
means of compliance would be the recommended standard for compliance.
    Step 3--FAA posting of a final advisory circular, including 
dispositions to comments received on the draft advisory circular.
    FAA, in coordination with PHMSA, is holding this public meeting to 
provide an opportunity for all interested parties to comment on the 
FAA's plan for collaboration with the air passenger transportation 
community. This meeting is also intended to provide an opportunity for 
all interested parties to provide input on the standard means of 
compliance for 49 CFR 175.25.
    The FAA and PHMSA also seeks input on the anticipated 
implementation timeline for a standard means of compliance with 49 CFR 
175.25 requirements, relative to the current effective date for 
amendments to 49 CFR 175.25 adopted in 76 FR 3382. Stakeholders are 
encouraged to submit questions, comments, recommendations, and other 
input in advance. (Please see the Comment Submission section above.)

III. Clarification Questions Regarding 49 CFR 175.25

    In preparation for this public meeting, the FAA and PHMSA are 
providing responses below to questions regarding specific 
interpretations of the 49 CFR 175.25 rule. The following questions were 
submitted to the FAA by the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous 
Materials (COSTHA).
    Q1. Section 175.25(b)--Ticket Purchase: Is the intent of amendments 
to this section adopted in the January 19, 2011 final rule (76 FR 3308; 
PHMSA-2009-0126 (HM-215K)) to require a carrier to provide the 
permitted and forbidden text or pictorials by Jan 1, 2012 and the 
passenger acknowledgement provisions by Jan 1, 2013?
    A1. While Sec.  175.25(b) took effect January 1, 2012, the 
passenger acknowledgement portion of the rule is scheduled to take 
effect January 1, 2013.
    Q2. Is Ticket Purchase defined anywhere in the regulations within 
or beyond the HMR? Not all passengers are issued tickets. For example, 
does this section apply to non-revenue or employee travel?
    A2. As defined in 14 CFR 241.03 and for the purpose of this 
response, a non-revenue passenger means a person traveling free or 
under token charges, except those expressly named in the definition of 
revenue passenger; a person traveling at a fare or discount available 
only to employees or authorized persons of air carriers or their agents 
or only for travel on the business of the carriers; and an infant who 
does not occupy a seat.
    Section 175.25(b) notification requirements apply to ticketed 
passengers only. However, non-revenue passengers, airline employees 
traveling as passengers onboard, and other non-ticketed passengers 
remain subject to requirements of the HMR, and actions by non-ticketed 
passengers can affect the safety of an air carrier's operation. While 
Sec.  175.25 does not define specific notification requirements for 
non-ticketed passengers, the FAA and PHMSA solicit input on best 
practices for notification of all passengers (ticketed and non-
ticketed) for inclusion in a future FAA advisory circular.
    Q3. Do the requirements of Sec.  175.25 apply to third party travel 
sites operated by travel agents and online travel retailers (Orbitz, 
Expedia, Travelocity, etc.)? If so, is it the responsibility of the 
carrier or the travel agent/retailer to provide the required passenger 
notification? The International Civil Aviation Organization Technical 
Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO 
Technical Instructions), at Part 8:1.1.3, states ``Any organization or 
enterprise other than an operator (such as a travel agent) * * * should 
provide passengers with information about the types of dangerous goods 
* * *'' Thus, it appears the ICAO Technical Instructions places the 
responsibility to notify passengers in these situations on the third 
party provider, and not the carrier.
    A3. The requirements of Sec.  175.25 apply to the aircraft 
operator. The aircraft operator is responsible for ensuring that 
passengers receive the notifications required by Sec.  175.25, 
regardless of whether the ticket is purchased directly from the 
aircraft operator or via a third party source. The aircraft operator 
can meet its obligations by relying on the notifications provided to 
the passenger by a third party, but the aircraft operator is ultimately 
responsible for compliance with the rule. PHMSA and FAA solicit input 
on best practice arrangements between aircraft operators and third 
party travel organizations for inclusion in a future FAA advisory 
circular on passenger notification.
    Q4. In a situation where a customer purchases a ticket over the 
phone (e.g., by calling a reservation center), what constitutes 
compliance with the rule? Do PHMSA and FAA expect a verbal reading of 
Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2), or would a simplified statement that guides 
them to additional information (i.e., carrier Web site) suffice?
    A4. A simplified statement may be acceptable, and may actually be 
the preferred means of compliance. The FAA and PHMSA solicit input on 
best practices for passenger notification via telephone for inclusion 
in a future FAA advisory circular.
    Q5. Is dual acknowledgement (at the time of ticket purchase--
paragraph (b), and time of check-in--paragraph (c)) intentional? If a 
passenger acknowledges at the time of ticket purchase, could a record 
of that acknowledgement also be used to meet the acknowledgement in 
section Sec.  175.25(c)?
    A5. The dual acknowledgement during ticket purchase and check-in is 
intentional and required for compliance.
    Q6. In a Rule 240 scenario where a passenger is re-accommodated on 
another carrier due to canceled flights or other reasons, would a third 
check-in acknowledgement be required?
    A6. Although an aircraft operator may meet its obligations by 
relying on notifications provided to the passenger by a third party, 
the aircraft operator is ultimately responsible for compliance with the 
rule. PHMSA and FAA solicit input on best practice arrangements during 
re-accommodation situations for inclusion in a future FAA advisory 
circular on passenger notification.
    Q7. In a bulk purchase or charter situation, would a single 
individual responding on behalf of their party be acceptable for 
compliance with Sec.  175.25(b) and (c)? Would such an acknowledgement 
be acceptable for military charters as well?
    A7. Both Sec.  175.25(b) and (c) allow for acknowledgement by a 
person acting on the passenger's behalf. While this allows for 
acknowledgement by a single individual, PHMSA and FAA solicit input on 
best practices for notification of passengers in bulk purchase, charter 
flight, or similar situations for inclusion in a future FAA advisory 
circular.
    Q8. Is the actual language in Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2) required 
in all cases? If so, how does a carrier provide notice of additional 
materials forbidden beyond those covered in the general language? The 
ICAO Technical Instructions do not require specific language but 
instead require the carrier

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to develop their own language and format.
    A8. The information provided in Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2) is 
required, but the specific wording used in the HMR is not required. 
Further, no part of Sec.  175.25 is intended to prevent aircraft 
operators or other individuals from providing additional information to 
passengers regarding the safe transport of hazardous materials. The FAA 
and PHMSA solicit input on best practices for conveying hazardous 
materials safety information, including the information provided in 
Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2), for inclusion in a future FAA advisory 
circular on passenger notification.
    Q9. This rule applies to 14 CFR 129 foreign carriers that operate 
from the U.S. Currently, there are 14 types of hazmat listed in the 
ICAO Technical Instructions, at 8;1.1, as ``permitted with the approval 
of the operator.'' Thus, there may be considerable differences between 
each U.S. and foreign airline as to what is ``permitted or forbidden'' 
by each operator. Note that the ICAO Technical Instructions, at 8;1.1.3 
and 8;1.1.4, do not require the types ``permitted'' either--only the 
types of hazmat ``forbidden'' needs to be communicated. If a passenger 
checks-in with a foreign carrier and then transfers to a domestic 
carrier, does the original check in notification satisfy the passenger 
notification for the domestic leg as well?
    A9. The aircraft operator may meet their obligations by relying on 
notifications provided to the passenger by a third party, but the 
aircraft operator is ultimately responsible for compliance with the 
rule. The FAA and PHMSA solicit input on best practice arrangements 
between foreign and domestic air carriers for inclusion in a future FAA 
advisory circular on passenger notification.
    Q10. In the case of remote check-in and boarding, where the 
passenger checks in at a remote location and checks baggage as well, 
such as a resort, cruise line, or military charter situations, does the 
carrier have the responsibility to notify the passenger, or is the 
resort, cruise line, or military branch responsible for notification? 
Under these scenarios, a non-carrier operation performs the check-in 
function. Therefore, the carrier has limited or no contact with the 
passenger during the check-in process. An example would include a 
military charter originating from a U.S. military installation.
    A10. The requirements of Sec.  175.25 apply to the aircraft 
operator. The aircraft operator is responsible for ensuring that 
passengers receive the notifications required by Sec.  175.25, 
regardless of whether the passenger checks-in directly with the 
aircraft operator or via a third party source. Although the aircraft 
operator may meet its obligations by relying on notifications provided 
to the passenger by a third party, but the aircraft operator is 
ultimately responsible for compliance with the rule. PHMSA and FAA 
solicit input on best practice arrangements between aircraft operators 
and third party organizations for inclusion in a future FAA advisory 
circular on passenger notification.
    Q11. Lithium batteries have received a significant amount of 
attention by regulatory and enforcement entities over the last 5 years. 
Much of this attention is due to incidents involving such batteries, 
including incidents occurring in passenger baggage. Yet, the current 
language in Sec.  175.25 does not mention lithium batteries. Is it 
acceptable for a carrier to develop independent language that conveys 
the intent of the language in Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2) but varies in 
content to address recent incidents or trends? May this language be 
used as an alternative to the language contained in Sec.  175.25(a)? We 
strongly believe the restrictive language indicated in Sec.  175.25 is 
ineffective in communicating hazardous material dangers and 
restrictions in passenger baggage to the traveling public.
    A11. The information provided in Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2) is 
required, but the specific wording used in the HMR is not. Further, no 
part of Sec.  175.25 is intended to prevent aircraft operators or other 
individuals from providing additional information to passengers 
regarding the safe transport of hazardous materials. The FAA fully 
supports inclusion of information regarding lithium battery hazards in 
passenger notifications. The FAA and PHMSA solicit input on best 
practices for conveying hazardous materials safety information, 
including the information provided in Sec.  175.25(a)(1) and (2), for 
inclusion in a future FAA advisory circular on passenger notification.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2012.
Christopher Glasow,
Director, FAA Office of Hazardous Materials Safety.
[FR Doc. 2012-17850 Filed 7-20-12; 8:45 am]
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